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Here Come The Fireflies
Source: Manila Bulletin
Date: 2010-04-24
They were traffic.

In support of the Clean Air Act and to raise awareness on the benefits of biking as a substantial form of transportation, almost ten thousand bikers participated in the 12th Tour of Fireflies (ToF) covering approximately forty kilometers around Metro Manila from Tiendesitas, Pasig to Quezon City, Marikina, Cainta, Taguig, Makati, and Mandaluyong.

Residents and motorists were dumbfounded to witness an eight kilometer stretch of bikers, some of which wearing colorful and quirky firefly costumes, breezing through the streets to literally and figuratively bring back the fireflies in the city.

“Fireflies are sort of a barometer of clean air. That’s why we only see fireflies in the province not in the city. This bike tour is our way of bringing the fireflies by encouraging motorists to use bicycles as a means of transport to reduce carbon monoxide emission,” said Mia Bunao, project coordinator of the Tour of the Fireflies.

Spearheaded by the Firefly Brigade, a non-stock, non-profit, volunteer action group which works for clean air and a habitable environment and the Ortigas & Company, this year’s ToF also served as an avenue for artsy bikers to show their talent in costume design. Among bikers wearing plain jerseys are a select few who pedalled with firefly wings, antennae attached to their helmets, and glaring red goggles that resemble bug eyes.

And since the elections is just around the corner, ToF’s theme for this year was “I Vote to Bike” and was staged to remind Filipinos that the simple act of riding a bicycle to work, school, or run errands is already a huge way of being nationalistic and eco-friendly. Highlights of the tour included a costumed rider contest and the Dutch Bicycle Grant Award Ceremony which was graced by Dutch Ambassador Robert Brinks.

Ortigas & Co., on the other hand, has pledged to install bicycle racks in all of its developments as a response to the RACK Project of the Firefly Brigade, a boost to the long term partnership with the Firefly Brigade. It also supports the ever increasing interest into biking as an environmentally sensible means of transportation.

“We ensure that greens and open spaces are present in our developments as we help advance the campaign for clean air. We are happy that Firefly Brigade is with us on this,” said Ortigas & Co. Deputy COO & Real Estate Division General Manager Joey Santos.

What started as a small gathering of bikers supporting clean air has become a big scale bike event participated by various sectors of the society from kids and adults to bike enthusiasts and celebrities. Bunny de la Cruz, long term Tour of the Fireflies participant says he travels daily via bicycle from Commonwealth to North Avenue, and from there takes the train to his Makati office.

True enough, if more people would use their bicycles like Bunny we wouldn’t be worrying about the big issues like climate change to everyday nuisances like traffic jams and violation tickets.

[ Tiendesitas Wiki | Quezon City Wiki | Marikina City Wiki | Cainta Wiki | Taguig City Wiki | Makati City Wiki | Mandaluyong City Wiki ]


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